Ford affiliate Mazda Motor booked an operating loss of JPY28.0bn (US$295.8m; EUR209.5m), down from a JPY56.3bn profit last year, for the first quarter of financial year 2010.

The net loss was JPY21.5bn versus a JPY36.5bn profit in Q1 2008/9.

Sales fell 45% to JPY428.2bn due to a combination of falling volume and a rising yen.

Mazda has forecast first half sales off 41% to JPY930bn, and operating loss of JPY60bn and a net loss of JPY50bn.

Full year sales are now seen down 19.9% to JPY2,030bn, the operating loss has been pegged at JPY50bn and the net loss is also forecast to be JPY50bn.

Unit sales are forecast to be down in all markets except China.

“The economic and business environment for the first quarter of fiscal 2009/10 remained extremely challenging as automotive industry demand stagnated and appreciation of the yen continued amid the global and severe economic crisis that started in the second half of the last fiscal year,” the automaker said.